Saskatchewan Mining and Minerals Inc. to Begin Construction on Fertilizer Production Upgrade by Late 2021

Mar 23, 2021

SMMI is expanding in an exciting, bold direction with construction on a sulphate of potash fertilizer production upgrade at its sodium sulphate plant in Chaplin, Saskatchewan.

We are proud to announce construction on a $220 million sulphate of potash (SOP) fertilizer production upgrade at our Chaplin, Saskatchewan sodium sulphate plant is scheduled to begin by late 2021.

SMMI senior management’s decision to proceed with this facility upgrade followed the completion of a favourable Preliminary Feasibility Study (PFS) by the Saskatoon office of Wood Group. The upgraded facility is expected to be complete by the end of 2023 and will produce an impressive 150,000 metric tonnes of SOP per year.

The numerous benefits of this exciting upgrade
We see great potential in combining our world-class sodium sulphate with Saskatchewan- produced potash to produce a high-value, premium SOP fertilizer for domestic and international growers. The North American market for SOP is currently underserved and many crops could benefit from the use of this fertilizer. SOP contains potassium and sulphur, both essential plant nutrients, increasing crop yields and supporting the long-term health of growers’ soils. As a result, this move means SMMI is supporting the needs of a growing food supply and enhancing food security.

We also see this upgrade as having immediate and long-term positive economic benefits for the town of Chaplin and for the Province of Saskatchewan as a whole. Construction on the upgrade is expected to take up to 700,000 labour hours, and once complete, the addition of SOP production will result in an estimated 50% increase in jobs at the Chaplin facility on an ongoing basis.

The province’s MLA for Lumsden – Morse Lyle Stewart, also acknowledges the economic benefits of this expansion. “As we emerge and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, Saskatchewan’s rural communities and industries will play a vital role in that recovery. Saskatchewan Mining and Minerals’ SOP fertilizer upgrade is leading that charge and will help us deliver on our mandates of growing our natural resource and agricultural economies, creating jobs and growing Saskatchewan exports.”

The support of government
The Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment determined this expansion is not a development and therefore SMMI will not require further environmental approvals. Additionally, this major upgrade has received conditional approval for funding from the Saskatchewan Government, through the province’s Saskatchewan Chemical Fertilizer Incentive.

“The Government of Saskatchewan has been engaged and highly supportive in their efforts to get behind SMMI, as it seems our project is directly aligned with their 10-year plan to create jobs, stimulate the economy, and to help build a strong economy and quality of life for Saskatchewan people.” says Rodney McCann, President of Saskatchewan Mining and Minerals Inc.

A continued dedication to sustainability
We have always been dedicated to protecting the environment that surrounds our sodium sulphate facility. Our desire to operate in a sustainable manner will continue as we plan this facility upgrade.

The agreement by Veolia Water Technologies, the global leader in large-scale, highly integrated process solutions to develop the process design has been integral to the advancement of this project. The facility upgrade will implement a cutting-edge design and technology — the first of its kind in Canada — that promises to be up to 25% more energy efficient than the technology currently being used to produce SOP.

“SMMI’s fertilizer production upgrade is an exciting move forward, with a dedication to sustainability. We are proud to partner with SMMI on this project and look forward to what’s to come,” says Jim Brown, CEO of Veolia Water Technologies Americas.

We have pride in this forward-looking move
This project has widespread support and our team is excited as we move closer to construction this fall.

“Saskatchewan is the only place on this planet that has the abundance of natural resources, the infrastructure, reputation, climate, people, and progressive supportive government to allow for a project like this,” says McCann. “In these challenging times, it seems only natural for an absolute ‘only in Saskatchewan’ opportunity to take centre stage in the rapidly growing global plant nutrition industry.”